Sunday, August 17, 2014

Titular Enlargement

I think people are expanding on and even inventing titles for themselves on LinkedIn. Call me a traditionalist, or worse if you don’t like what I have to say, but I’m finding job titles that have never seen an org chart.

VP of Product Experience. There’s a title to conjure with. What do you suppose a VP of Product Experience does? What would be the qualifications for the job? You’d have to have experience, I imagine, with a product… Would he or she share an office with the Client Insights Manager?

I recently saw a 10-word title, and another made up of six arcane acronyms.

 A not-very-extensive (10-page) dip into LinkedIn turned up 14 Directors (and two CEOs) of Fun. One at a retirement community.

There are Directors of Events. And here I thought only the Deity had that power.

I see a lot of people’s titles start with “Award-winning.” Must be a whole lot of awards out there. Puts me in mind of a former L.A. television news anchor for whom that mantra became de facto his first name; he was never introduced without it. A lot of others start with "Senior." There are two possibilities for these people -- they can be in charge of some juniors, or they can just be old -- and mostly we can't tell which is the case.

“Lifestyle coach” I guess is pretty mainstream by now; there seem to be a lot of them. I think they replace “counselors” to whom we used to go for advice if we were having difficulties with our way of life.

Several “results-drivens” in varied fields: marketing, management, sales, ops, group coaching, and probably more if I’d continued the search.

Lots of “Thought Leaders.” Like Josef Goebbels? Kind of a scary concept. I guess the other 2,040,000-odd of us – even the results-driven, the lifestyle coaches, the award winners, the fun and event directors,  and that VP of Experience, as well as all us nondescript hangers-on on LinkedIn – we must be thought followers.  

Speak of the devil: 519 results for “Propagandist.”

“Influencer”: 37,204 search results; near 197,000 search results for “Visionary,” some of them company names. 34,000+ for “Healer,” including two job openings; 74,000 for “Networker,” some certified; 320,000 “Thinkers” (Creative/Strategic/Big Picture/Out-of-the-Box); 13,000 Philosophers; 3600 Pundits; 5800+ “Renaissance Men” (one of whom, thankfully, specifies “joking”), probably more than there may have been during the actual era. (Always wondered about people who apply that label to themselves. Even had he known he was living in The Renaissance and in fact epitomized it, would DaVinci have arrogated the term to himself? He probably wouldn’t have felt the need).

And of course there’s my other favorite. Anyone who has read this blog, if there is anyone who’s read it, could probably predict what that would be:  Director of Content.